The Lowdown - From The Jam

Since 2007, The Jam’s original guitarist, Bruce Foxton, and Russell Hastings on vocals, have performed 125 shows a year as From The Jam, taking glorious tracks such as ‘The Eton Rifles’, ‘Town Called Malice’ and ‘In The City’ all over the world for legions of fans

May 12 2022

How will your 2022 Boisdale gig differ from your usual concerts?

Bruce Foxton: There’s been a lot of apprehension after the lockdowns but it’s going to be more intimate and fun. We interact with the audience. We get requests. People bounce up and down in the aisles.

Russell Hastings: Intimate is a word with added meaning now. It’s going to be quite emotional after a year and a half of bad news. But if it’s anything like how we felt when we got back into the studio, when it all just clicked, then I’m sure we’ll have two great nights.

How do you choose the songs to play for an acoustic set?

BF: The jelly will definitely wobble on the plate a bit! But the beauty of The Jam catalogue is that whatever you do with it, it sounds great.

RH: We strip them all right back. It’s funny; the brain fills in the gaps so by the end of the night no one really notices that there wasn’t a full band. It’s great for us – we hear our vocals clearly, we hear the instruments clearly, and we can interact with the audience.

BF: Even though they have to shout a bit louder these days! The Jam captured the frustration of the era. Is the band relevant today?

RH: The late Seventies were, for me, council houses and Ford Cortinas, like in The Jam’s song, ‘Saturday’s Kids’. It was the beginning of Thatcherism, a very politically significant time in British history. The Jam is still, if not more, relevant today and it’s really great that we get young crowds at our gigs.

Bruce Foxton, and Russell Hastings
Bruce Foxton, and Russell Hastings

At the time, were you aware that you were making music history?

BF: Musically things had become stale and we wanted to shake it up. It was an exciting time to be contributing to what is a defined chapter in rock ’n’ roll history.

Russell, when was the moment you fell in love with The Jam?

RH: I was a big Beatles fan. In 1969, my mum bought me ‘Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da’. That was a real moment, but when my brother brought home [the Sex Pistols’] Never Mind the Bollocks, I really lit up. I then heard In The City and that was that. I also bought [The Jam’s second album] This is the Modern World, which has some brilliantly written tracks like ‘Life From a Window’.

What’s happening in the studio?

RH: We’re recording a new album, The Butterfly Effect by Foxton and Hastings. It’s not a nod to The Jam’s ‘Butterfly Collector’ but refers to how we are affected by seemingly unrelated, simultaneous events. Back in the day, Bruce went to see Wilko Johnson in Guildford and Paul [Weller] went to see the Sex Pistols at the Lyceum and out of those two events came In the City.

What are you listening to now?

RH: I’m listening to Abbey Road in the car, and Talk Talk, Ry Cooder, and Wilko Johnson.

BF: I listen to a lot of BBC Radio 2.

RH: He’s good at the pop quiz.

BF: I am actually!

You’re on death row. What’s yourlast meal and drink?

RH: Something with a hacksaw in it.

BF: And a getaway car!!!

From The Jam play Boisdale of Canary Wharf in early 2022 to celebrate the release of their new album, The Butterfly Effect. Reserve your spot at